Do You Really Need Snowboard Boots?

Well, summer is officially over. The Halloween decorations are already out. Christmas decorations will be out before you know it. Some people will be headed for the mountains. The older crowd might be looking to go skiing, but the younger crowd will be looking to go snowboarding.

Snowboarding was invented in 1965 by Sherman Poppen as a toy for his daughters. This “toy” became an Olympic sport in 1998. Snowboarders in this decade were a bit of a rebellious youth subculture that looked to separate themselves from their yuppy and prep parents. One wonders what the children of those rebellious boarders are doing now to rebel.

do you need snowboard boots

Do You Need Special Boots To Snowboard?

You will need specialized boots that connect your feet to the board through the bindings. You can usually rent these at a ski resort, but it is not the best choice. Snowboard boots are engineered with the purpose of conforming specifically to your feet.

Because of this, owning your own pair will be much more comfortable. Snowboard boots are available in regular shoe sizes, but keep in mind that sizing can differ among various companies. Your boots should feel snug, but not so tight to the point that they feel restrictive.

Why Do You Need Snowboard Boots?

For the most part, the most crucial part of your snowboard gear is snowboard boots. They can make a difference in the kind of performance you experience on the mountain. Snowboard boots need to fit comfortably and properly.

They must also work well with your bindings. Here’s where you can’t afford to be stingy. Snowboard boots are worth spending a little bit more money and taking the time to get the right fit.

What Is The Difference Between Snowboard Boots And Regular Boots?

The major difference between snowboard boots and regular boots is the different types of lacing systems that they use. Some boots tie up like normal shoes. However, most modern boots have a system wherein the laces are pulled tight and are tied off by the laces being wedged in special slots around the boot.

Types Of Snowboard Boots

The main types of snowboard boots are based on what sort of terrain they will be used on:

  • All-Mountain boots are made to have the mid-level support and control that is necessary to ride different types of terrain and snow conditions.
  • Park/Freestyle snowboard boots are engineered to provide easy mobility plus a free range of motion and the flexibility needed to tweak grabs and press rails and boxes.
  • Freeride boots are engineered with a stiffer flex than most boots and deliver more response and control to aid in both turn initiation and edge hold when riding along challenging terrain.

There is also a flex rating to consider. This rating is based on how easily the boot will bend under pressure. Softer boots have more maneuverability where stiff boots will be more supportive. Generally, the flex is measured as a soft, medium, and stiff. As with ski boots, the flex index is not the standard of all brands.

What Does Flex Mean In Snowboard Boots?

Snowboard boots have varying flex ratings that range from soft to stiff. Boot flex is something chosen due to personal preference but typically a softer flex is the choice of park and beginner riders. For more advanced mountain riders and free riders, a boot with a stiffer flex is often the better choice.

Boot flex ratings are not exactly standardized from one boot manufacturer to the other, so the flex may differ from brand to brand. Many snowboard boot manufacturers will offer a number rating that ranges from one to ten. One is the softest and ten is the stiffest.

Can You Wear Snowboard Boots As Regular Boots?

Snowboard boots are really too stiff for walking more than a few steps. Some people like to wear them while doing yard work on snowy days because they have a decent grip. No one likes to slip while shoveling the walkway! But for long hikes, forget it.

Snowboard Boots Vs. Ski Boots

You might think these boots are the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Any similarities they have are fairly superficial. Ski boots and snowboards boots are not at all interchangeable.

As skiers face downhill while snowboarders face sideways, the boots are designed accordingly. Ski boots have a rigid shell whereas snowboard boots are much more flexible.

How To Choose Snowboard Boots?

Don’t go by looks. First and foremost, your boots should fit. Fit and comfort are the most important aspects. Keep in mind that every foot is different so you should go with the shoes that are the best fit for you. Get the flex waiting that is best for you too. Beginners may need soft boots where more experienced skiers may need stiffer ones.

How Much Do Snowboard Boots Weigh?

They tend to be pretty hefty. Snowboard boots usually weight a few ounces over five pounds. Smaller sized boots (such as those made for women or children) will of course weigh less.

How Should Snowboard Boots Fit?

Even a well-fitting snowboard boot can be rather difficult to put on and take off, particularly at first. Give the liner some time to pack out. Your toes should touch the front of the boot, but they should not feel like they are physically being curled back. You want to see to it that the size of the boot has the same size as your foot. Your heel should be locked in place.

How Tight Should Snowboard Boots Be?

Snowboard boots need to feel snug everywhere. They should feel snug at your instep, heel, and toebox. Plus, your toes should barely touch the ends. So, don’t be alarmed if they feel too tight at first. The truth is, if your snowboard boots fit “just right” straight outta the box, they will likely be messed up in less than a week.

How To Tie Snowboard Boots Tight?

First, tighten and secure your liner. Most people use a pull lace to tighten the liner around the ankle. Don’t overdo it. Next, tighten the laces about your toe box beginning at the loops nearest to your toes and work your way up to your ankle. A double overhand knot should isolate the pressure.

Once the toebox set, you may then lace up the eyelets above your ankle. If you feel a need to isolate pressure between every set of eyelets, use a standard overhand knot between each set. Don’t do it if you want to equalize pressure. Finally, you can use a standard “double knot,” much like lacing up your running shoes. This will keep the laces from becoming loose throughout the day.

Should Your Toes Touch The End Of Snowboard Boots?

Yes, but just barely.

Should You Buy Snowboard Boots A Size Bigger?

That depends on how your shoes fit. It is most probable that you’ll either use your normal shoe size, half a size smaller, or half a size larger for your snowboard boot. For better accurately you should have your foot measured (you can do this at home using the Brannock device in your snowboard shop or local shoe store.

How To Stretch Snowboard Boots?

The shell, of course, is going to stay the same. The liner, however, stretches quite easily. Just put them on and walk around a little.

Does Heat Molding Snowboard Boots Make Them Bigger?

This is easier than trying to make them smaller. It is best if you use a self-molding snowboard boot and follow these easy steps:

  • Put on a pair of thick socks.
  • Put your foot into your snowboarding boots.
  • Tighten up the laces.
  • Wear the boots around the house to begin the heat molding process.
  • You should see results in a few days.

Can You Heat Mold Snowboard Boots At Home?

You can do it with a hairdryer with modest results.

  • Take the snowboard boot liner out of the snowboard boot.
  • Put on your thick socks.
  • Plug in an ordinary hairdryer.
  • Insert the dryer into the boot liner and turn it on.
  • Heat up the liner for a few minutes until it becomes pliable. Take care not to burn or overheat the liner. Check every twenty seconds or so.
  • Place the liner back into the boot.
  • Put your foot inside the liner.
  • Lace-up and tighten the boot.
  • Stand up firmly with your tightened boots for about ten minutes.
  • You should now have liners that are fully formed.
  • Repeat as needed.

How Much Does It Cost To Heat Mold Snowboard Boots?

Well, you can do it for free with a hair drier, but you might get better results if you are willing to pay for it. The exact price will vary. A trained technician will give your foot an evaluation, select the right insole, and heat mold it to you. The cost can be anywhere from $80 to $225. Some stores that sell snowboarding boots will do it for free with purchase.

How To Break In Snowboard Boots?

You can try just walking around in them. You can strap them to your board and simulate some turns. Push up on the toes for twenty to thirty seconds at a time then push back on the heels for twenty to thirty seconds at a time.

Are Stiffer Snowboard Boots Better?

The stiffness of a snowboarding boot is something that will affect your performance. Stiffer boots offer improved control at high speeds. However, softer boots allow for greater maneuverability during tricks and jumps. Select a boot that is best suited to your snowboarding ability and style.

How Should Snowboard Boots Fit In Bindings?

The heel needs to fit snugly in the binding. A binding that is properly fit must let the boot flex, but not sway. If your boots are comfortable and the bindings firmly grip your boots with no extra play, then you have a good fit.

Are Snowboard Boots Supposed To Hurt?

The fit should be snug but by no means painful.

How To Make Snowboard Boots More Comfortable?

It starts with socks. The sock must be taller than the boot and not made of cotton. They should be wool or synthetic. Do not double up because two pairs of socks tend to bunch up. Leggings are out as well. The lining should be warm enough. Also, try giving the boot a few heel kicks after you put them on.

Why Are Snowboard Boots So Expensive?

The raw materials are fairly pricey. And then there’s the level of engineering that goes into them. And there’s the laws of supply and demand plus profit margins, overhead and other stuff you’d have to be an economics major to understand.

Should I Buy Or Rent Snowboard Boots?

Rental boots are not very comfortable. You’re better off buying your own pair.

When Should I Buy Snowboard Boots?

You should put off buying a snowboard until you have a good idea of the terrain you like or at least have to settle for. Keep in mind the riding style you prefer and whether or not you need better performing equipment.

How Much Does A Decent Snowboard Cost?

They cost just around $60 for the kiddies, but adults are going to be spending adult prices. Pro snowboards cost anywhere between $200 and $1000. A woman sized snowboard can cost around $500 where a man’s snowboard may cost a bit more.

Popular Snowboard Boots Brands

  • Burton is a name you’ll see on a lot of lists. They make different models for all different types of boarders including the gear Shaun White used to win the gold medal at Pyeongchang.
  • Salomon has been a favorite for the longest time. As long as they’ve been around, they are continually making progress.
  • Adidas is a brand known for making all kinds of sports gear. They’re better known for their summer sports gear, but their snowboarding boots are just as desirable.
  • Thirtytwo, K2, and Vans are also decent brands on the market.

How Long Do Snowboard Boots Last?

Typically, they will last for one hundred days of skiing. However, this is dependent on a number of factors such as boot quality and snow consistency.


It has been said that where skiing is easy to learn and difficult to master, snowboarding is hard to learn but easy to master. You are advised to get your board, boots, and bindings fitted by a trained professional. Dress warmly, stay safe, and don’t forget the sunscreen!


Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top